The Apple Watch is Coming

Tim Cook Shows Off Apple Watch

Everyone knew that Apple would be announcing a new watch but they kept people guessing today until CEO Tim Cook revealed it as “one more thing…” From first looks, it’s pretty impressive and I already know I want one. But I’ll have to wait–they won’t be available until 2015, meaning that Apple is missing the holiday season.

There are a couple of key points to consider about the upcoming watch.

  • It’s sleek and svelte
  • There are lots of options and customizations
  • You need to pair it with an iPhone (ouch!)
  • It’s health and fitness focused (watch out, Garmin!)
  • You’ll be able to pay for stuff with it (with participating retailers)

Sign me up for one when they’re out!

Amazing Things You Probably Didn’t Know About the Grateful Dead

Here are some cool facts about the Grateful Dead. Before meeting any future performing members of the group, Jerry Garcia first befriended Robert Hunter in 1960, who go on to become the group’s lyricist behind some of their biggest tunes like “Sugar Magnolia,” “Casey Jones,” and “Truckin’.” Their devotion to musical and psychedelic exploration even reaches their use of music theory with tunes like “The Eleven” — performed in rare 11/8 time signature. In 1969, they switched gears towards incorporating live albums into their discography as the best way of capturing their sound, starting with Live / Dead recorded at Bill Graham’s Fillmore West. As a genuinely tour-dependent group, eventually their road crew that was loyal was employed full time with benefits and insurance. Their 1973 show and The Allman Brothers drew over half a million individuals. Jerry Garcia had to relearn the best way to play guitar in 1986 while recovering from a coma. Jerry Garcia served on the board of directors for a nonprofit called The Rex Foundation that has been assembled to support grassroots/artistic enrichment in “the spirit of generosity and concern that evolved in the culture surrounding Grateful Dead concerts.” Al and Tipper Gore are noted Deadheads (down to wearing J. Garcia neckties while campaigning) and even attended 1992’s RFK Stadium show within weeks of Gore being named Clinton’s vice presidential nominee. Grateful Dead is for the kids! Jerry Garcia’s last recorded job was a kids’ record called Not Just for Kids, and Bob Weir co-wrote a children’s book with his sister called Panther Dream that prepares kids about the rainforest. Jerry Garcia adored comic books and scuba diving, besides truly being a musician and visual artist. Phil Lesh’s enduring love of the sweatband is a legacy unto itself. No other group in the whole world can sound strong all at exactly the same time, and so pretty, surprising, over time. Long Live the Dead!

The Pressure of Baby Shower Gifts

I went to a baby shower the other day and it was amazing to see all the incredible gifts that some of the guests brought. Some of the gifts were downright amazing. Clearly some of the other moms had been spending a lot of time on Pinterest looking for inspiration. Here’s one of my favorites. A cute way to turn some simple washcloths into a nicely wrapped gift for the mom-to-be.

Baby Shower Washcloths


I was intimidated since I had a store-bought gift I found while searching for ideas on I ended up buying a collection of books from like Goodnight, Moon and other classics. I figured that it would be nice for mom and dad to have a stack of books at the ready for those long nights of trying to get baby to sleep!

My First Yoga Class

For a long time, I was feeling inspired to start my first yoga class though I had no idea on what to expect. Before, I could begin I went through articles and books on yoga to find out more on the subject. I also learnt a few things from my first yoga class that I would like to share.

Yoga clothes

Perhaps you may be feeling confused on the type of clothes to wear for your yoga class. I realized out that it depends on the class type you will be attending. If will be in the Bikram yoga or power yoga, you will definitely sweat. Therefore, you should wear garments that wick away the sweat. Wear something like what you would when running.

While the baggy T-shirts are okay for guys, ladies should choose tight-fitting tops. This will ensure that your top doesn’t fall over your head during an inversion. I could see women pulling tops in their shoulder stand as they did not want to show their stomachs.

Yoga gear

If you are new to it and do not have a mat, call the gym or yoga studio to rent or borrow one. From my experience, I would recommend buying one after you have already attended a few classes. The mats are available in a variety of materials and colors ranging from the natural rubber to the synthetic and have different thickness levels. Wash the mat with water and soap and leave it to dry. Most studios also provide basic props like blocks that can be used in alignment and straps to help those who are new.

Yoga etiquette

Ensure that you arrive about 10 minutes in advance for your yoga class so as to choose a comfortable spot. If you choose a popular class as a result of the time of the day, you should always arrive 15 to twenty minutes before time. After arriving, remove your shoes & socks before walking into the room. Find a spot at the back where you can follow people in front of you.

Before the class begins, meet the instructor and let him or her know whether you are suffering from an injury, particularly a recent one to enable him modify the lesson to suit your need. When doing the challenging poses, breathe deeply. Practice the poses at home to become more experienced. With these tips, it will be possible to enjoy your yoga lesson.

Oh and this didn’t happen to me but it’s funny!

Harry Potterheads

OK, those of you who know us well probably won’t be surprised to learn that the entire family is a bunch of Harry Potter fanatics, dating back to when the original books were written and Aunt Sally sent over an early copy of The Philosopher’s Stone from England. Since then, we’ve all devoured every book and movie and spent many family dinners arguing some of the finer plot points and meanings.

Pottermore - Privet Drive

The sign for Privet Drive at the opening scene for Pottermore.

This past weekend, a very big present dropped in our laps: the release of Pottermore, the world of Harry Potter brought to life in an interactive web site from J.K. Rowling and Sony. It has been in beta testing for almost a year, and we’ve known about it for a while, but weren’t allowed into the beta test. But when it came out on Saturday morning, plans were cancelled, computers were fired up and we all dove in.

It’s a Potterhead’s dream. You move throughout the world of Harry Potter, experiencing all the major events that he did, chapter by chapter. You explore the world through different moments, which are the major scenes of each chapter in the story. Along the way, you need to click around to find items like Chocolate Frog Cards or Galleons. There are a lot of important things to find and you need to locate them all to progress to each new moment and chapter. If you get stuck or lost, try one of the many Pottermore walkthroughs on the Internet.

We all blazed through the story pretty quickly. In under an hour. That was are only complaint about Pottermore. There’s not enough of it! You do get some great material that you won’t find in the books or movies, mostly backgrounds and stories about the places and characters. But for now, only Book 1 is available. We’ll have to wait for the rest!

Headed to Hawaii

After a lot of discussion and debate within the family, we opted to head for Hawaii this year for a fun and relaxing vacation. We thought about a lot of different places to go, including the Caribbean and (for a brief moment) even the remote South Pacific, but after a review of several family vacation destinations, we settled on Hawaii as the best choice.

The past two years with the economy down, we tried the cheap and effective staycation concept. It was a nice way to save money but we all felt that now it’s been years since we’ve had a real vacation, so it’s time to splurge a little. Hawaii is the perfect choice, with plenty of nice beaches to relax on and enough in the way of sports and activities to keep everyone entertained for a week.

Maui Sunset

Sunset over the island of Maui in Hawaii

I think the decision was clear after we looked at some of the photos on the official tourism site for Hawaii. We were sold. We’re going to visit Maui on this trip and avoid the temptation to island-hop. After all, it’s more about enjoying some down time than boarding lots of planes.

Facebook Games

I haven’t been playing as many Facebook games as I used to. I logged plenty of hours on FarmVille when it was popular and also played a ton of CityVille for a few months, but got bored since it was almost the same game. I then tried some different genres of games on Facebook, like some of the match-3 and arcade-style games. I tried Diamond Dash and Bejeweled Blitz, which were great because they were fast-paced and fun. Collapse Blast is another good one.

But now I’m getting kind of bored of all of them. None of the games on Facebook are as good as some of the regular games that you can buy or download. My favorite casual game is a toss-up between Peggle and Plants vs. Zombies.

Plants vs. Zombies

Plants vs. Zombies is still better than anything you’ll find on Facebook.

But I’m still holding out hope for a new wave of better and more enjoyable games on Facebook. CastleVille has a lot of promise. I was reading about it on a CastleVille fan site and it sounds like the game will have lots of great animation, storyline and characters that you meet. But then again, it might turn out to be just another update to the FarmVille/CityVille click fest. I guess I’ll just have to wait and see how it turns out.